Thursday, June 10, 2010

Charting the course

My first experience with sex was not a good one. I spoke with a therapist about it later and she equated it to rape. Children have a coping mechanism that has been documented over and over, that I automatically exhibited during this first experience. They somehow leave their bodies and sort of “float” next to the ceiling and watch the whole thing. They detach themselves, so to speak. And I don’t blame the boy…how was he to know, if I didn’t know, that I wasn’t ready. But I wasn’t ready…and I think that has colored my relationships, views about men and how I interact with them ever since.

Alcoholics say that they are alcoholics even when they are not drinking, so does that make me a recovering victim of abuse for the rest of my life? After this first sexual experience, I consistently chose men who abused me. They were drunks, they hit me, cheated on me, called me horrible things and basically whittled away my self-esteem. I have been through things that I would not wish on my worst enemy….and yet, I am somehow grateful. I am grateful that I am still alive. I am grateful to have learned how strong I truly am and that no matter what, I can make it through. So, while I am sure that I might have caught some insight into that portion of my character, I would not have learned the lesson as profoundly as I did.

So now, I find myself, navigating the dating waters without a charted course. You might think that I’m an idiot because we are all in the same boat when it comes to dating…but I disagree. When you are abused, you don’t know right from wrong when it comes to how people treat you. It is hard to understand when it is okay to take time for you, when you need to stand up for yourself and that doing things for yourself is actually loving and kind. I’m trying my best to take it slow, to take deep breathes and remind myself that I do matter.

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